Earlier today Seeking Alpha, a stock analysis and opinion website, announced the launch of the Investment Applications App Store, an investment app store that offers professional-level tools, for free and otherwise, for any type of investor.
“Investing Apps are professional-grade tools to help the Seeking Alpha community discover, manage, track & analyze their investments.
The newly launched Investing Applications App Store is the first platform to focus solely on the needs of investors. As of today, there are 27 third-party Apps on the platform. Apps are all web-based (not mobile) and when added to a user’s account, become part of a Seeking Alpha user’s personalized experience across the Seeking Alpha site.”
Some of the apps that are currently in the store include Interactive Models (an interactive, web-based financial modeling tool), Validea’s Free Guru Analysis App (a guru, think Warren Buffet, analysis app) and Trefis (a unique, easy-to-understand view of the products that drive a company’s stock).
Here’s a video from the company explaining how to use the new app store.
Earlier this week, Interlude.fm, an interactive video platform from popular Israeli musician, Yoni Bloch, excited the industry with its presentation (and victory) at the second annual Techonomy conference outside of Tel Aviv. The company’s technology, similar to the “choose-your-own-adventure” stories that were popular in the early 1980s, offers viewers the opportunity to decide the actions of people in the video they are watching. In the sample music video Bloch showed, which was created in one night, there were 29 scenes and over 250 combinations.
Bloch also demoed sample videos of other ways Interlude’s technology could be applied, including to commercials and television shows (think American Idol). He explained that Interlude plans to make money by licensing the technology to the companies behind these and in other areas as well as by revenue sharing partnerships. The partnership opportunities and numerous fields it can enter make Interlude not only one of the most promising startups in Israel this year but also a possible platform from which the future of home entertainment can be based- from its current offerings, such as music videos and commercials, to possible future partnerships with companies, such as MySpace.
The future of home entertainment, which Microsoft is currently trying to shape with Project Natal (using Israel’s PrimeSense motion-sensing technology), is likely to be one in which people will be able to control the movie they are watching, music they are listening to or game that they are playing through hand and body movements and/or one’s voice using gesture-based systems. A partnership between Interlude and another Techonomy presenter, Omek Interactive, an impressive competitor of PrimeSense in motion-sensing technology, can take Microsoft’s idea to a whole new level and offer a true social experience that involves direct interactivity and engagement.
For example, imagine that you are sitting on a couch in a living room with some friends watching television. You and your friends are watching a brand new car on the screen zoom through the streets of a busy city. The color of the car is silver. You say “red” and the color changes. Your friend to your right says “hills”, and the setting, which had been urban, is now rural. Someone else puts his or her hands out as if holding a steering wheel and motions to the right and the car turns. Another friend lifts his foot and slams it and the car stops. Another friend says something and another change happens and so on, this goes on for two minutes. In the end everything is back to the original settings and some fine print appears on the screen and the next thing that appears is the television you were watching. It had been a commercial before.
Such an interactive experience can also be applied to music videos and television shows. In the direction of music videos, as Robert Scoble - one of the judges at the competition – said, Interlude can save MySpace. The floundering social network that has turned its focus to music can implement this technology to further engage its users and keep them coming back and staying on pages longer. According to Bloch, a recent test of the technology found that its interactive elements was able to triple time spent on a page.
Interestingly, the CTO of MySpace, Alex Maghen, was in Israel earlier this week looking for strategic technologies. Whether or not he heard of Bloch or Interlude before, it’s certainly on his radar screen now, and in one form or another will probably be on our television, computer and iPhone screens soon as well.
Yoni Bloch presents Interlude.fm:
Founder and CEO of Omek Interactive presents the company:
During the week of April 4, 2010, Israeli startup Qlipso announced it bought the assets of video web site Veoh Networks. Israeli biofuel company HCL CleanTech is set to open its U.S. headquarters in North Carolina and Autodesk is looking to expand its R&D operations in Israel. For these stories and more, check out this week’s 10 Israel-related headlines below as well as a video of Qlipso’s presentation at Twiistup 7 this past February.
During the week of December 6, 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres launched his own YouTube channel to encourage peaceful dialogue and announced that he will be going to the Copenhagen climate conference representing Israel. Information security company, Promisec thrived during the recession and Israel as a startup nation was looked at in a different light. For these stories and more, check below for this week’s 11 headlines.
Amobee Media Systems and Innovid have been named Technology Pioneers 2010 by the World Economic Forum. The two startups along with 24 others, including Twitter and Amiando, were identified for developing new technology that can “change and improve the way business and society operate.”
Here’s a little more about the startups:
Led by CEO Zohar Levkovitz and Gary Schofield, Amobee has developed advertising server technology for mobile operators that dynamically “inserts relevant ads into different mobile entertainment and communication channels” that users can interact with.
Founded in 2006 by Tal Chalozin and CEO Zvika Netter, Innovid provides publishers and advertisers with the ability to monetize online video by integrating brand advertising into relevant video content. Innovids technology enables advertisers “to insert 3D objects into videos post-production” that blend into the rest of the video but still attracts the user to click and interact with it.
As Technology Pioneers, Amobee and Innovid will have access to the World Economic Forum’s elite network of members and can attend the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, among other events.
During the week of November 1, 2009, financial software company, Finjan was acquired by M86. The Cleantech Group ranked Israel number 5 in its list of top10 cleantech countries of 2009 and Start-up Nation, Saul Singer and Dan Senor’s analysis of Israel’s economic success, was released (headlines below video).
A few months ago I had the opportunity to meet Daniel Shein of IDC’s Media Innovation Lab (MiLAB) and to hear about the project he was working on then. Shein has since started LoFT with two miLAB friends and released its first project, LooKATOR, an application for Google Android phones.
LooKATOR uses Augmented Reality to enable users to find the best WiFi signals by opening the app and holding up the phone, which will show the signals around you with their relative strength and direction.
According to the site, “LooKATOR uses vector-based models that continously update as the user moves around to calculate where WiFi signals are coming from – so you’ll always know where to go for better reception.”
Shein’s team is currently working on new features for it including click-to-connect and password security, as well as a version of the app for the iPhone.
Here’s a look at the LooKATOR for Android in action.
Kaltura, according to its site, is “the first open source video platform for online video management, creation, interaction & collaboration.” Earlier today it was listed as one of 49 hot new open source applications on Earthweb.com as a video tool. The company has an R&D center in Israel.
During the week of July 5, 2009, it was announced that NASA and Israel’s Seambiotic will be researching and developing algae for use as a possible aviation fuel. Discussion continued on N-Trig’s planned 2010 IPO and the company’s latest developments and IBM Haifa researchers revealed new data-masking technology that filters sensitive data from unauthorized viewers on the fly. For these stories and more, check below for the full 10 Israel-related headlines from this past week.
Tufin Technologies, which provides Security Lifecycle Management solutions, has really picked up steam since the beginning of the year. The company, which is five years old, has won three awards in recent weeks and recently attended the RSA conference (the largest infosec conference of its kind) in San Francisco, where the above video was recorded.
Last week it announced that its flagship product, SecureTrack, was named Best Enterprise Security Solution by SC Magazine UK, and received an honorable mention as the Best Security Management Solution.
According to Tufin’s Website,
“Tufin’s Security Lifecycle Management solutions automate policy management for leading firewall and networking vendors including Check Point Software, Juniper, Cisco, Fortinet, F5 and BlueCoat, resulting in more manageable, efficient and cost effective security operations. Its flagship product SecureTrack, helps security operations teams to control and manage policy changes, analyze risks, and ensure business continuity. With SecureTrack, managers easily understand the big picture and align operations with corporate and Government security standards.”
Tufin also made InformationWeek’s Startup 50 list of young companies recognized for delivering innovative, high value, enterprise ready solutions and was named best Security Lifecycle Management Solution by InfoSecurity Products Guide.